With European polls taking place in Finland Sunday, the leader of an extreme far-right party tried to stoke the Islamophobic vote by publicly ripping up a copy of the Quran, according to a Turkish businessman.
Marco De Wit, leader of Finnish People First -- a small anti-immigrant party with no seats in the national parliament -- took the incendiary action in the capital Helsinki, in full view of police officers, said Yakup Yilmaz, a member of the World Turkish Business Council's European Committee.
“I told the police officers that he was committing a hate crime and they should stop him. The officers did nothing,” Yilmaz told Anadolu Agency, adding that De Wit also insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Campaigning over the past week ahead of European Parliament elections, De Wit has occasionally ripped up the Quran, intentionally provoking Muslims, as well as the Jewish Torah.
“By ripping up the Quran, Wit is committing a hate crime, but the police don’t say a word,” Yilmaz said.
In April, Rasmus Paludan, the leader of Denmark’s Islamophobic Hard Line party, burned the Quran in an area with a large Muslim population, as an intentional insult.
Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties are expected to gain ground in the European Parliament elections, set to conclude today.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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